Toray Resin México SA de CV (TRMX) started manufacturing engineering thermoplastic compounds at a new $7 million plant in El Salto, western Mexico, in the first week of February.
Part of Toray Resin Co. (TREC), a Troy, Mich.-based subsidiary of Toray Industries Inc. of Tokyo, it is the first Japanese engineering plastics manufacturer with its own resin compound production base in Mexico, Toray officials said.
It will initially produce 10,000 metric tons of materials, primarily nylons and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), a year, increasing Toray Group's resin compounding capacity in the Americas to 34,000 metric tons, according to a group news release. TREC has another production plant in Shelbyville, Indiana.
Dennis Godwin, the executive vice president of both TREC and TRMX, confirmed the startup in a brief telephone interview with Plastics News February 4.
During the initial ramping up TRMX will employ about 15 people, he said. “But in the coming years we expect that to easily double or triple.”
“The strategy of our company is very clear,” he wrote in an earlier email. “We aim to continue expanding our position as one of the preferred compounded engineering thermoplastics producers in the world.”
Explaining the reasons for TREC's move into Mexico, he wrote that “the automotive market in Mexico is projecting steady growth in the next five years, largely driven by new platforms, expansions and grass roots manufacturing at the Japanese, European and American car makers.
“This growth will require more engineering thermoplastic materials from local manufacturers, aimed at reducing the long supply chains from current imported [foreign] materials and establishing local manufacturing to support the continued expansion. It is our strategy to be the preferred business partner for existing and developing customers in Mexico.”
Godwin said that TRMX will also supply the electrical/electronics market. The production facility is inside the El Salto plant of St Louis, Mo.-based Zoltek Cos. Inc., which became a wholly owned Toray subsidiary in February 2014. El Salto, where Honda Motor Co. Ltd. also has a light vehicle assembly plant, is 20 miles southeast of Guadalajara, the Jalisco state capital.
According to a Toray-TREC news release, 75 percent of TRMX's $7 million capitalization was provided by TREC, with Toray accounting for the remaining 25 percent.
Toray Industries also has compounding operations in Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea.